iWork, Garageband, and iMovie just got better!

Good news for owners of iOS devices! When Apple recently updated its flagship apps for productivity and creativity, it lowered their price to...wait for it....FREE! This is great news for users of Apple's mobile devices, as these apps were previously among the higher priced in the app store, ranging from $4.99 to $9.99 each. All are essential for making the most out of your Mac or tablet. Details of the functionalities of each are presented below, for those who are not already familiar with them. Apps are available for Macbooks, iPhones, and iPads, and require that you have one of the most recent operating systems (iOS 10 or MacOS Yosemite).

While these apps are must-haves for the casual user, they also have a number of pedagogical applications as tools for allowing students to synthesize and showcase learning in a variety of cool ways that will help them to develop real world skills. Teachers can also use the last two creativity tools to find ways to deliver instruction to students asynchronously while hitting different learning modalities. 

Pages

Apple's cleanly designed word processing app can help users make visually appealing posters, cards, and flyers, as well as serving as a word processor. Documents are stored automatically in the cloud for easy collaboration. 

Numbers

Numbers is Apple's spreadsheet application, and while it is not highly robust in the formula department (Excel remains the industry standard), it can be used to easily make visualizations of simple data sets. 

Keynote

With a slew of elegant-looking templates, Keynote makes beautiful presentations the norm. Its strengths are in looks and photo editing, though it does not feature as many customizable tools as PowerPoint. 

Garageband

Want to make music or a podcast? Garageband is the app for you! It allows you to easily record voices or instrumentation and comes with built in beats and sound effects. It has been used to create top ten pop songs, and is a great tool for auditory creativity. 

iMovie

iMovie allows you to easily make slideshows and movies with a series of still images or video files. It comes with built in transitions, music, and add-ons like credits and introductions that can enable you to make professional-looking movies very easily. 

In Focus LIVE: New MediaSpace Tools!

On March 31, the Academic Technology Department hosted an episode of In Focus LIVE that showcased some of the new, easy to use features of MediaSpace, FSCJ's video platform! While you may have used MediaSpace to watch videos, store media, or integrate into your Blackboard courses, a recent update has also given faculty and staff the opportunity to create video quizzes and to do simple screen and lecture capture. MediaSpace expert Michael Smith joined Brandi and Robyn to share best practices for using these new tools within and outside of Blackboard. Watch the In Focus episode below, then, for more information about specific features mentioned in the segment, view the curated playlist of videos below, provided by Kaltura/MediaSpace.

If you are interested in becoming a MediaSpace expert, sign up for Kaltura University, Kaltura's free and comprehensive training program! Kaltura University provides a great overview of how to make, store, and manage videos, with details about chaptering and organizing content.  


How to Use MediaSpace and Upload Videos

Become a MediaSpace power user! This video will show you how it works, and how you can use it to find and view video content at FSCJ. It will also give you a look at how to upload a video from your computer to MediaSpace and how your videos can be organized into playlists and channels. 


Using the CaptureSpace Recorder

CaptureSpace is an exciting new tool that is available for FREE for all FSCJ faculty and staff. It can be used to do screen, voice, and camera recordings with up to three inputs. This video will give a brief overview of how to record videos using CaptureSpace, and will explain how to complete post-production tasks like chaptering and indexing. finally, it provides a look at the flexible media player that is one of the unique features of screencasts that are completed using CaptureSpace. 


 

Post-production Video Tips

This short video will give the novice creator of educational content some tips for how to make videos look more professional. Many of the suggestions provided, including trimming, adding a title, and adding credits, can be done with the touch of a button within MediaSpace.

Others, like captioning for accessibility, are equally important for educational content, but must be done outside of the MediaSpace platform. More information about captioning can be found at the bottom of this blog post. 


 

Adding Video Quizzes

Video quizzes are the newest and most exciting educational feature to be added to the MediaSpace platform. Video quizzes can be created with any video that has been uploaded to the system, and provide a wide range of flexibility in terms of the types of questions that can be asked and their placement within the video. Using the easy techniques that are integrated into MediaSpace, you can create professional looking video assessments that can measure student engagement with media content, as well as concept retention. 


 

Gathering Data from Video Quizzes

Once you have created a video quiz, learn how to use a variety of different tools to gather data about your students' performance. Reports can be viewed within Kaltura, can be exported into Excel, and can be directly sent to the Blackboard gradebook.

Video quizzes can be integrated into Blackboard, to be used for course assessment, as well as being used to track which students are watching required course media.


Tips for using Video for Teaching and Learning

Are you new to creating videos for educational purposes? Learn from the wisdom of MediaSpace users and video professionals from around the country who are interviewed in this video and provide simple tips that you can incorporate into your work. Remember: in making educational videos content, not technology, is king! Make sure that you are using the tool of video to deliver the information that you want your students to learn. 


For more information about how captioning for accessibility is handled at FSCJ, visit the Information Technology Knowledge Base here

Questions, comments or feedback? Email et@fscj.edu.

Are you Maintaining Equal Access for all Students?

One of the main benefits of twenty-first century educational technology is its ability to increase opportunity for students to learn and grow academically. Learning Management Systems like Blackboard allow students to earn college credit at any time and from anywhere, while supplements like Khan Academy, Coursera, and EdX allow students to master skills without even paying for traditional education! Oftentimes, though, when using technology to deliver content, we forget that crucial groups of students with disabilities are not always able to access this content on a level playing field.   

Accessibility for Americans with Disabilities is a crucial, but often overlooked, piece of the academic technology puzzle, and refers to the removing of barriers that prevent people with disabilities from having access to web-based content. When a site, document, or video is correctly designed with features such as captioning, proper headings, or good use of color, it allows for all users to have equal access to needed material. Careful attention to a few simple guidelines can help you to ensure compliance. 

The Educational Technology Department has curated a few resources to guide you along the way! The .pdf below provides detailed instructions for maintaining the accessibility of all types of electronic files and systems. Please feel free to download and share it, as needed.

Additionally, if you are looking for assistance with making complex images (such as graphics or flow charts) accessible, or with adding accessibility components to mathematical expressions, we have found that the non-profit Diagram Center has a number of useful resources that can provide guidance. 

It is important to remember that, under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, it is required by federal law for emerging use of technology in the classroom to be easily accessible to students with disabilities. The responsibility for complying with this federal law rests on all members of academic institutions who are creating and putting out content. Any content that relates to testable course objectives must meet federal accessibility guidelines. , If you have specific questions about accessibility, please email et@fscj.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate Webinars

FSCJ recently made the switch to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, a very useful synchronous communication tool that is available within every Blackboard course shell. Blackboard allows individuals to collaborate (hence the name ;) ) over the web using their computer's onboard camera or microphone to give live lessons or work on group projects. 

It also allows professors to share and mark up powerpoints or word documents with students, show and demonstrate applications and screens, and record lessons for later viewing by students. It is a truly versatile and incredibly useful tool for online faculty, as well as those teaching face to face classes! 

Prior to Spring Break, the Educational Technology Team hosted a series of webinars that took a deep look at the many features of Blackboard Collaborate. All three webinars are shared below. 

This webinar is useful for proessors who are just getting started with using Collaborate. It covers setting up the camera and microphone, sharing applications and files, and the use of the digital whiteboard. 

This webinar picks up where Beyond the Basics left off, and covers breaking students into groups, recording sessions, and ideas for using the whiteboard and file sharing applications. 

This webinar reviews the features of the Collaborate mobile app, as well as best practices for its use. 

We hope that these webinars are useful for faculty and staff in providing a introduction to and a reference for Collaborate. As always, please feel free to direct any further questions to et@fscj.edu.

Tools for the Millennial Student Training Materials

As a part of the Office of Training and Organizational Development's One Step Program, the Educational Technology team presented a workshop on teaching millennials with technology, focusing on a series of learning methods that were cited as the most useful by the Adobe Creativity Study.  The video below provides a summary of the information covered in the training. 

Those who are interested in taking this training (or others) through the Office of Training and Development should visit training.fscj.edu.  

Any way you Slice it, Raspberry Pi makes Computing Sweeeet!

Recently, we in the Academic Technology department have been talking a lot about the Raspberry Pi, a computer that packs a lot of power into a teeny magenta case. The Raspberry PI was created in the United Kingdom to help democratize computing by providing an economical platform to teach coding and engineering in schools and to encourage experimentation in robotics.

In the five years since the first Raspberry Pi model was launched, the product has gone through several iterations, and is the third most successful computing platform of all time. The newest version, the Raspberry Pi Zero W, has a  1GHz, single-core CPU, 512 MB RAM, various mini-HDMI and and mini-USB ports, 802.11n wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.0, all for the astonishingly low price of $10.  While it does not come with a keyboard, mouse, monitor, or even an operating system, its small size makes it a great fit for creative projects.

Check out this Ars Technica article to see some of the ways that people around the world have used the Raspberry Pi to power robotics, create emulators, and even create musical vegetables.

Have a great educational use for a Raspberry Pi?  Let us know at et@fscj.edu! 

Teaching with Technology: Mobile Apps for the Classroom

As a part of theOoffice of Training and Organizational Development's One Step Program, the Educational Technology team presented a workshop on new mobile apps that can be used for creating, sharing, and presenting in the classroom. The video below provides a summary of the information covered in the training. 

Those who are interested in taking this training (or others) through the Office of Training and Development should visit training.fscj.edu.  

In Focus Student Edition: Collaborating on the Go

A big part of success for college students is keeping up with the work of communicating with professors and fellow learners. This is even MORE important if you are enrolled in online or hybrid courses, since group projects, content questions, and grade inquiries are more challenging when your audience is not right in front of you! Sometimes managing your schedule and workload can feel stressful.

Worry no longer...Educational Technology has your back! Join us for In Focus: Student Edition, where we discuss adding your FSCJ email and calendar to your mobile device and show you some tools for collaborating with classmates efficiently and effectively. 

Technologies covered in this video:

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that is used by professors to connect with students. As a student, you can use Blackboard Collaborate to meet with your peers for a group project, attend a webinar, or share and work on documents. There are also tools to share your screen, review a PowerPoint presentation, and write on a digital whiteboard. Blackboard Collaborate can be accessed in courses, if your professor has enabled the Tool. Please ask your professor if it is not visible within the course’s menu on the lefthand side of the course shell.

For more assistance with Blackboard Collaborate, submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or visit the Blackboard Help site.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is a virtual notebook tool that can be used to store photos, documents, links, and audio memos. Notebooks are stored in the cloud, update automatically, and can be shared. There is also a mobile app for OneNote that allows you to take photos, videos, and record audio files. OneNote is Included in Office 365 Suite and is FREE for all FSCJ faculty, staff and students.

For instructions on how to download Office 365: https://fscj.service-now.com/esp?id=kb_article&sys_id=049dc4794f108200e67c76601310c722

For more information on OneNote from Microsoft: https://support.office.com/en-us/onenote

Dropbox (and Paper)

Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store and share digital files with others. The basic version of Dropbox is free and gives you 2GB of space to use. You can write, comment, and embed media in Dropbox and access those Documents from anywhere, even a smart phone!

Click the link below to sign up for the FREE version of Dropbox.

https://www.dropbox.com/register

Google Drive / Docs / Hangouts

Google Drive is a FREE cloud storage service that provides 15GB of space for its users. It accepts all file types and allows for collaboration and sharing with others. Google Drive integrates with the Google Productivity Suite, which includes these free, cloud-based apps: Google Docs, a word processor, Google Sheets, a spreadsheet program, and Google Slides, a presentation program. These are very similar to the Office365 Tool Suite. 

Google also provides a great communication and conferencing tool, Hangouts. It  allows users to text, make FREE calls, or video chat. The video function uses your computer's webcam, but also has screen sharing capabilities, so that you can show someone else what you are working on. You can use it to communicate one-on-one or in a group. It can also be used anywhere, via the Mobile Hangouts app, which is available for iPhones, IOS, and android devices.

For more about the features offered in Google Drive:
https://www.google.com/drive/using-drive/#start

Find out how to get started with Google Docs: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en

Find out how to get started with Google Hangouts: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/2944865?hl=en

Thanks for watching! If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics for future episodes of In Focus, please email us at et@fscj.edu.

Humanities Open Source Remixes!

If you are a Professor of Art, History, Literature, or Humanities, or just a humanities nerd (like me), 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the open source bonanza! Three really exciting new resources are available to help you find, remix, and use digital visual culture, free of charge! 

Metmuseum.org

Recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, North America's largest museum, announced that it was switching to an Open Access policy for all of its artworks that are in the public domain under a Creative Commons 0 license. This means that researchers, designers, artists, and students can download, print, change, and remix any of the artworks that have the Creative Commons 0 icon under their catalog entry at metmuseum.com (see example below). Since the Met has one of the largest collections of fine arts and historical artifacts in the world, this opens up a wealth of possibilities for publishing, displaying and sourcing these works without paying exhorbitant fees for the rights! 

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

Image of The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565), as it appears at http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435809

The Public Domain Review

The Public Domain Review describes itself as "an ever-growing cabinet of curiosities for the digital age...with a focus on the surprising, the strange, and the beautiful". It is an open-source treasure trove of digital cultural artifacts that are divided into four categories: film, audio, books, and images. Articles are periodically written that are curated around a specific subject. This results in the bringing together of objects from all four categories by theme, period, or topic, so that readers can dive deeply into the material documentation of a subject that they find personally or academically interesting. A wonderful recent example of this type of article dives into nineteenth-century yellow journalism as historical example of the "fake news" phenomenon. You can take a closer look at this story by clicking on the photo below. 

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Detail from The Fin de Siècle Newspaper Proprietor, featured in an 1894 issue of Puck magazine.  https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/yellow-journalism-the-fake-news-of-the-19th-century/

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America is a digital database of maps, books, documents and ephemera that is housed in public libraries across the country. It goes beyond the traditional database because it is actually a platform that uses API (Application Programming Interface) and metadata to organize its collection, which allows for the creation of apps that can sort and deliver content in a variety of really interesting and useful ways. While the technology behind this is a bit tough to explain (the video below provides more information), the results are incredibly useful. Users can sort library materials by subject, location created, or even by color! Click here to view an awesome collection of artifacts and primary sources from various times and locations that help to explain the history and context of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. 

So, as you can see, these three open source resources can help to make art, history, and literature come alive for your students by situating it in context and helping to generate new ideas, understanding, and creative products. 

For more information about other open source resources and how they are currently being used at FSCJ, view our In Focus Live: Open Educational Resources seminar, filmed in December. 

Join AT and TOD for Campus Solutions Web-Based Training!

The Office of Training and Organizational Development teamed up with Academic Technology to produce a live web-based training for student services employees to introduce the new Campus Solutions admissions system! If you missed the training, or would like to view it again, you can do so here. The same video is also accessible at training.fscj.edu. Please direct any questions that you may have about the video's content to hrtraining@fscj.edu.

Lending a Hand to the LLC

Last week, the Digital Media Productions team took a literary trip to the Deerwood and Downtown Campus LLCs.  In honor of African-American History Month, we helped the LLCs shoot a series of interviews and readings with FSCJ administrators, faculty, and staff about their favorite African American authors.  You can find the finished videos on the FSCJ Library and Learning Commons Facebook page.  Check them out!

Join Us for January's In Focus LIVE!

 

Not sure where to turn or who to call when you're looking around for technology assistance?  What's the best way to find out the answers for yourself? What enterprise resources are available here at the College? We answered these questions (and more) in January's broadcast.

 

On Friday, January 27th at 10:00 AM, the Academic Technology Team live streamed the latest episode of our In Focus series, which took a deeper look at Information Technology Services' new website, help.fscj.edu

Our broadcast started with a general overview of how to use the site and provided a closer look at some of its improved features. The Educational Technology team explained how to fill out a help ticket, how to request new technology, and how to easily reset your password without having to contact the help desk. WE clarified when to use the "Request a Service" feature and when to use "Get Help", and shared some available resources for new faculty and staff. 

You can view a recording of January's In Focus below. Please feel free to send any questions that you may have after viewing it to et@fscj.edu, and stay tuned to this blog, the FSCJIT Twitter, and help.fscj.edu for information about future In Focus LIVE broadcasts!

Taking Notes with your Mobile Device

When I got my first iPad five years ago, I had grand dreams of how it would allow me to streamline my life by allowing me to have all of my work, play, and family resources in my tote bag whenever and wherever. My original iPad (and the iPad mini that replaced it), went a long way towards meeting this goal, but over the years I found that there was perpetually one specific functionality that was never quite perfect: notetaking.

I could, of course, take detailed notes and draw complex pictures on my iPad relatively easily. There have been a number of great styluses on the market over the years, some of which have the ability to write on the screen like a pen (we recommend the Adonit Jot Pro for writing) and draw like a pencil (we use 53's Pencil for drawing with touch sensitivity). The problem was always the app--I was never able to find one that allowed me to use the notes in another format.

The ideal note taking app should integrate with the other tools that you use for productivity, and allow you to share your notes with others who may not have access to the same apps or equipment that you have. In order to do that, the app needs to be able to translate your handwriting into text. Enter: NEBO! 

As shown in the video above, MyScript's Nebo app uses a technology that they have dubbed "interactive ink" that allows you to easily manipulate notes and text by using intuitive gestures on your tablet. You can mark up text to create headings, bulleted lists, diagrams, and mathematical notation. Double tapping on the content turns it into standard text and illustrations that can be exported as a .pdf, word document, or html! 

Nebo is the note taking app that I have always wanted, but it does have one drawback: at this time, it is only available for iOS and Windows devices. MyScript currently offers a beta version of its Stylus app, which offers more a more limited interface that also utilizes the interactive ink technology. 

For those lucky notetakers who have an Apple or Microsoft mobile device, click here to learn more and download the app for free! 

Professional Development Day: SharePoint Webinar

Did you miss Training and Organizational Development's SharePoint Webinar on Professional Development Day? You're in luck! Click the image below to view the recording, which was delivered by TOD's Training and Development Specialist, Dr. Barbara Moyer. 

For those who may be unfamiliar with the topic, SharePoint is a useful file-sharing tool that is a free part of the Office365 Suite to which all FSCJ employees have access. It can be used to create departmental or organizational websites, as well as for project collaboration and document authoring. In the webinar, Dr. Moyer begins with the basics of setting up a SharePoint site, and continues with a discussion of the major features of the application.

If you are a more advanced SharePoint user, the Training and Organizational Development Office hosts face-to-face classes to help you move to the next level. Find more information about this and other TOD offerings at https://training.fscj.edu/.